Roger reviews Transformers, Patrick shows off Google Maps and more!
What's new in Episode 178
• Roger didn't hate The Transformers. Some of you immediately emailed in to say you did. Others loved it. We shall not speak of it again.
• The Viewer Tech Pic Of The Week is actually a video from Rod in Baghdad, who was advised he had to "destroy" his hard drive by the "System Administrator" types. They "...were unspecific as to the means." So Rod got his marksmanship on with a variety of weapons and totaled the drive. Very cathartic, Rod, thanks for sending it in!
• Got a tech picture you want to share? Email us! firstname.lastname@example.org
• Weather.gov is still our fave source of weather info. The graphical maps are especially good to find out how your travel destination is going to get. Clean interface, good info. (Thanks for the emails about Weather.com getting a fresh design, we'll check it out.)
• Speeding up browsing: Brooks drops us a tip for Firefox.
• EV-DO modems rock, when you can get a full speed connection (a shared 3Mbps!), but out of top urban population centers, aka "out in the sticks," Patrick found 50Kbps dial up modem speeds and horrible latency. Not so impressive. Tons of hotels and motels have pretty good Internet access, just make sure you ask before you check in!
• Franco is upgrading his PC's memory and has to remove the heat sink from his processor to pull one of the sticks. Should he clean off the old paste and add more thermal paste? Definitely. That's the right way to do it. Or you can be lazy and just smooth the cooler right back down when you've got the new memory in place. (Not the right way to do it, but it's worked in the past.)
• Kevin wants a free backpack! (Remember Robert's backpack roundup way back in Episode 71?
• A subnet calculator that doesn't need web access that you can run from a USB flash drive? No problem, Paul. Check out SolarWind's Advanced Subnet Caclculator. It's free!
• A mile is about 1.6 kilometers, a kilogram has 2.2 pounds, and there's roughly 4.5 liters in a gallon. Thanks for the reminder, Graham!
• Can I use the iPhone as a mobile phone modem for my notebook? Nope, Ian, at least not until somebody figures out a hack that enables DUN for the iPhone.
• Recommendations on cleaning SLR lenses? Breath and a clean microfibre cloth is what Patrick uses. Chances are, tho, Markus, if you can't find the bit of dirt on the lens that's showing up in your pictures, you have dust on your sensor. Cleaning the CCD/CMOS sensor in your camera is a tad intense. You can do it at home, but be careful! this is something you might well want to pay a good camera shop to do for you. Here are some HOWTO links: Understanding Digital SLR Sensor Cleaning, putting you camera in Camera Cleaning Mode and one more on CCD Cleaning this page has some great pix of magnified dust spots, along with more cleaning info.
• Yes. We'll demonstrate the proper way to clean a lens. Quit emailing!
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